Shane Brown harks back to the 90s

Howard Campbell

Saturday, August 09, 2014

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THOUGH he came of age as a producer in the Internet era, Shane Brown considers the 1990s dancehall music's greatest period. He pays tribute to that decade with his Creation 'riddim'.

Recently released by his JukeBoxx Productions, the beat has songs by Konshens (Don Daddy), Tarrus Riley (Greatest Creation), Lady Saw (Selfie), Assassin (Hear mi Nuh) and Big Time by Shabba Ranks.

In an interview with the Sunday Observer, Brown spoke about the significance of recording Ranks on Creation.

"This riddim goes back to the 1990s, which to me is the best era in dancehall. Therefore, if I am doing a riddim to complement that era I have to get the top artiste from that time," he said.

Ranks recorded Big Time at Penthouse Records in Kingston where Jukeboxx Productions is based. Kirk Bennett played drums on the Creation backed by live samples from Steely and Clevie, the leading dancehall producers of the 1990s.

Shabba Ranks cut his teeth on the sound system circuit in the mid-1980s. Later, he recorded a series of hardcore songs like Peeny Peeny, Dem Bow and Wicked in Bed which earned a fanatical dancehall following.

He was the toast of dancehall in the 1990s, signing with Epic Records, home to Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross. Ranks won consecutive Best Reggae Album Grammy Awards, had gold-selling albums and broke into the American mainstream on the strength of songs like House Call and Mr Loverman.

His success with Epic paved the way for other dancehall artistes to be signed by major American labels. Patra, Diana King, Mad Cobra and Super Cat all had strong sellers for Sony International and Columbia Records.

The 1990s also saw the rise of independent producers including Steely and Clevie, Bobby Digital and the Kelly brothers, Dave and Tony.

The Creation beat is distributed digitally by Zojak International.

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